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Neuralink, the brain implant startup spearheaded by Elon Musk, has discreetly amassed an additional $43M in funding. The latest round of funding was spearheaded by investor Peter Thiel, via his Founders Fund, according to a TechCrunch report.

  • Funding Status: A total of 32 separate investors contributed to this round, as revealed by their SEC filing. This elevates Neuralink’s total capital from $280M to $323M.
  • Company Background: Neuralink was founded in 2016 with the ambitious goal of developing a groundbreaking, implantable chip that can interpret brain signals. The company’s innovation lies in the wireless nature of its brain implants and an increased number of implanted electrodes.
  • Clinical Trials: In May, the FDA greenlighted Neuralink for human clinical trials, following initial rejection.
  • Controversies surrounding Neuralink: In August 2020, more than half of the founding scientists had left the company due to internal conflict over rushed timelines. In 2022, allegations of unethical practices were leveled against Neuralink by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Reports suggested that testing was being accelerated due to Musk’s demand for swift results, leading to issues such as brain swelling and partial paralysis.
  • Investigations into Neuralink: Neuralink was under federal investigation by the USDA for nearly a year regarding potential animal welfare violations. The USDA concluded with “no evidence” of breaches other than an incident self-reported in 2019, but the PCRM disputed these findings.
  • Additional Probing: In November 2023, US lawmakers requested the SEC to probe Neuralink for not disclosing details about the deaths of a dozen animals fitted with their implants.

Despite the controversies, the interest and financial backing for Neuralink remains strong.

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